Nahum – Chapter 3

Nineveh’s Great Ungodliness

Verse 1 – Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. Its victim never departs.

Verse 2 – The noise of a whip and the noise of rattling wheels, of galloping horses, of clattering chariots!

Verse 3 – Horsemen charge with bright sword and glittering spear. There is a multitude of slain, a great number of bodies, countless corpses-they stumble over the corpses –

It appears that Nahum is in the battle, perhaps in a vision. He can hear and see the bodies of the slain in Nineveh.

Verse 4 – Because of the multitude of harlotries of the seductive harlot, the mistress of sorceries, who sells nations through her harlotries, and families through her sorceries.

Like a harlot, Nineveh had used its beauty and prestige to deduce other nations. Then when the other nations relaxed and thought Assyria were their friend, the Assyrians attacked and plundered them. Nineveh was vicious and deceitful.

Verse 5 – “Behold, I am against you,” says the Lord of hosts; “I will lift your skirts over your face, I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame.

God intends to strip Nineveh of all that they were proud of.

Verse 6 – I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile, and make you a spectacle.

Verse 7 – It shall come to pass that all who look upon you, and say, Nineveh is laid waste! Who will bemoan her? Where shall I seek comforters for you?”

Verse 8 – Are you better than No Amon that was situated by the River, that had the waters around her, whose rampart was like the sea, whose wall was like the sea?

Verse 9 – Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was boundless; Put and Lubin were your helpers.

Verse 10 – Yet she was carried away, she went into captivity; her young children also were dashed to pieces at the head of every street; they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.

The Egyptian children were dashed to pieces by the Assyrians, just as Assyria had recently done to Israel.

Verse 11 – You also will be drunk; you will be hidden ; you also will seek refuge from the enemy. (Made drunk – made to drink the cup of Jehovah’s wrath.)

Verse 12 – All your strongholds are fig trees with ripened figs: If they are shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater.

Verse 13 – Surely, your people in your midst are women! The gates of your land are wide open for your enemies; fire shall devour the bars of your gates.

The capture of Nineveh will be easy, as if only women were their stronghold.

Verse 14 – Draw your water for the siege! Fortify your strongholds! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Make strong the brick-kiln!

Verse 15 – There the fire will devour you, the sword will cut you off; it will eat you up like a locust. Make yourself many-like the locust! Make yourself many-like the swarming locusts!

Verse 16 – You have multiplied your merchants more than the stars of heaven. The locusts plunders and flies away.

Verse 17 – Your commanders are like swarming locusts, and your captains like great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in a cold day; but when the sun rises they flee away, and the place where they are is not known.

Verse 18 – Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; your nobles rest in the dust. Your people are scattered on the mountains, and no one gathers them.

The shepherds – the leaders slumber – lie in a death sleep – death.

Verse 19 – Your injury has no healing, your wound is severe. All who hear news of you will clap their hands over you, for upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually?

All the nations hated to be ruled by the Assyrians, but they wanted to be like them, powerful and wealthy. But power can be seductive, so watch out when you reach great wealth. Those who lust after power will be powerfully destroyed, as was the Assyrians.

Nahum – Chapter 2

This chapter predicts the events of 612 B.C., when the combined armies of he Babylonians the Medes sacked Nineveh.

Verse 1 – He who scatters has come up before your face. Man the fort! Watch the road! Strengthen your flanks! Fortify your power mightily.

Verse 2 – Fort the Lord will restore the excellence of Jacob like the excellence of Israel, for the emptier’s have emptied them out and ruined their vine branches.

The Assyrians had plundered and crushed the northern kingdom, Israel. Then they attacked the southern kingdom, Judah. The Lord was finished using them as chastisement against His people. Now it was their turn to be punished.

Verse 3 – The shields of his mighty men are made red, the valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots come with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the spears are brandished.

Verse 4 – The chariots rage in the streets, they jostle one another in the broad roads; they seem like torches, they run like lightning.

Verse 5 – He remembers his worthies; they stumble in their walk; they make haste to her walls, and the defense is prepared.

Verse 6 – The gates of the rivers are opened, and the palace is dissolved.

Verse 7 – It is decreed: She shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up; and her maidservants shall lead her as with the voice of doves, beating their breasts.

Verse 8 – Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, now they flee away. “Halt! Halt!” they cry; but no one turns back.

Verse 9 – Take spoil of silver! Take spoil of gold! There is no end of treasure, or wealth of every desirable prize.

The conquerors, Babylon, are summoned to plunder Nineveh’ riches, which they had acquired by taking from others. Bronze inlaid with gold, gems, seals, and alabaster vases were found in the ruins of Nineveh, but none of gold and silver. These were taken as spoil before the palaces were set on fire.

Verse 10 – She is empty, desolate, and waste! The heart melts, and the knees shake; much pain is in every side, and all their faces are drained of color.

Verse 11 – Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion walked, the lioness and the lions cub, and no one made them afraid?

Verse 12 – The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, killed for his lioness, filled his caves with prey, and his dens with flesh.

The kings described themselves as lions, crushing their enemies. Yahweh mocked Nineveh, the once mighty lion who preyed on its enemies. Now they would become the prey.

Verse 13 – “Behold, I am against you,” says the LORD of hosts, “I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions; I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall be heard no more.”

God had given Nineveh an opportunity for repentance after hearing Jonah, but they had returned to sin, and its consequences would destroy them.

When people repent and then return back to their sin, there will be heavy consequences to pay. Over and over again, scripture is clear.

The Book of Nahum – Chapter 1

Introduction:

Nahum is about judgment on the great city of Nineveh. Yes, the same city Jonah preached to and they repented. When God told Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh, the whole city responded with repentance and Nineveh escaped destruction. But gradually arrogance crept back into Assyria. About a century after the preaching of Jonah, God calls Nahum to proclaim the coming destruction of Nineveh. This time there will be no escape. Unlike Jonah, Nahum does not go to the city but declares his message afar off. The fall of Nineveh to the Babylonians in 612 B.C., is seen by Nahum as a future event. So, Nahum is placed between 663 and 612 B.C.

God’s Vengeance in Judgment

Verse 1 – The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

Verse 2 – God is jealous, and the Lord avenges; the Lord avenges and is furious. The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies;

Like a jealous husband, God would not tolerate any rivals for Israel’s affection. God’s jealousy is not like ours, which is focused on selfishness. God’s jealousy and vengeance purpose is to remove sin and restore peace to the world.

Verse 3 – The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.

If God was quick to get angry, none of us would be here. We’ve all done things that could have brought immediate punishment, but because He showed mercy and patience to us, we have time to repent. But, here’s the thing: The wicked think His patience will never run out, but it does.

Verse 4 – He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, and the flower of Lebanon wilts.

Yahweh alone controls the rain, and fertility. Bashan was famous for its lush pastures, fine cattle, and rich forests, and Carmel for its vegetation. Both were withered by God’s judgment.

Verse 5 – The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, yes, the world and all who dwell in it.

Verse 6 – Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him.

Verse 7 – The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.

Verse 8 – But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, and darkness will pursue His enemies.

To God’s enemies, He is like a flood that will sweep them away, to those who believer, He is everything we need.

Verse 9 – What do you conspire against the Lord? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.

Verse 10 – For while tangled like thorns, and while drunken like drunkards, they shall devour like stubble fully dried.

Verse 11 – From you comes forth one who plots evil against the Lord, a wicked counselor.

Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria during much of Nahum’s like, was the one who brought the Assyrians to power. Sennacherib openly defied God and brought rebellion and was part of the evil plotters.

Verse 12 – Thus says the LOrd: “Though they are safe, and likewise many, yet in this manner they will be cut down when he passes through. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more;

The Assyrian’s punishment was fatal, permanent, but Judah’s was temporary and corrective.

Verse 13 – For now I will break off his yoke from you, and burst your bonds apart.”

Verse 14 – The Lord has given a command concerning you: “Your name shall be perpetuated no longer. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, for you are vile.”

As the Assyrians had treated other gods of other nations and their people, so shall they be treated. The dynasty of the kings in Nineveh became extinct. Nineveh was so completely destroyed and wiped out that its ruins were not identified until 1845.

Verse 15 – Behold on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, perform your vows. For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off.

Sennacherib had encamped in the mountains around Jerusalem and kept the people from having their feasts. God told them He would utterly destroy them, so go ahead with the planed feasts and vows that they had promised if God delivered them.